Monday, July 30, 2012

Behind the scenes - a story, a learning to share!

It is inspiring and heartening to see some of my friends publishing books these days.  Three friends as I recall.  It is great to get your first book published - I admit, would really want to be there;  The feeling of elation is like that of graduation.   It is great to see your first piece of work hit the stalls.   Good to see the paperback, smell the pages, see people picking up from the shelf, browsing through it and reading.   As I admit, I am yet to reach there.   As they say, this is the feeling of a champion, that only champions can feel.

The story of how each story is written
and published itself is an unique
experience
As professionals, most of us keep our struggles and our secrets to ourselves. Sometimes, the story of how a book is made itself becomes a story.  And the experience is a treasure.  To cherish.  As one would look back the route that one had to take, the calls one had to make, the refusals one had to bear, the pep-talks of the near and dear, it is a road, worthy of taken.   This road is unique.

I have been chatting with some of these friends in terms of how one deals with a first-time manuscript, approaching a publisher for a first time.   Should I share my story online? How to deal with copyrights?   How to discuss payment terms?  The responses, I admit, are tad, pricey and guarded.  I beg to differ with these responses.

The basis of this is the fact, that I am an avid social networker.    I share my feelings without hesitation, as one can easily learn by communicating, sharing like how children do?   Should children learn everything first hand.   Yes.  That is what I would do as a first-time writer.   But, if somebody has got the experience, why can't they share it?  Especially once a book is published?

The runner community shares its experiences
tips, leads - which helps novice runners
grow and run better 
I am not seeking advise on how I should do things, but some leads which might help me construct my case easier.  Fair ask, I say, what do you? It would do a world of good, when a growing community in India, especially people who are aspiring to write in English in this country get support - like contacts, leads,which would do a world of good.

You don't need to look far ahead to build a community.  Just look at my other interest - running.   There are enough running communities, that would pull a lazy bum like me out of the couch to hit the road.   Just do it!  This camp, that run.   This race and that training - in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai!   Don't run like that.   Contact this sports doctor if you have an injury.    If running in India has grown in the past 5 years, it is because, there are people who are willing to share.  Narratives of how somebody ran his first marathon. Photographs,experiences.   These are stories, experiences - read about them, one's mundane mind gets spiked!

Likewise publisher details.   We know, we all know, that publishers vary in quality, content and intent.   For struggling authors- writers, playwrights, poets in us - this would be a key fact.    There are self publishing channels also, I gather.

So, the successful friends, among us, your struggle and journey itself would make a story - a legend.  Like the great writer you are, write about it and share it!

 - Ashok Speaks 



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